As I am sure you are aware, the sausage sizzle is a national institution. When I lived in Philadelphia, the only other Australian I knew longed for a sausage sizzle more than other food from home. It wasn’t Vegemite or Tim Tams or a meat pie. It was a sausage sizzle that was a comfort food, the kind of thing that recalled long days in the sun, living one’s best life, embracing all the things that are on offer in the lucky country when you are elsewhere. For me, I often countered with mum’s chicken curry or a good sausage roll or actually just decent bread (maybe a croissant for breakfast instead of cereal). But those days are distant memories, if only because I am here now and there are sausage sizzles on offer everywhere.
One thing my friend particularly loved was the slice of white bread rather than the hot dog roll that has now become commonplace. I tend to agree with him then (when we compared the sausage sizzle to the hot dog) and even now. The slice of bread tends to get the ratio right, allowing the sausage and onions and sauce to shine, being moister than American or IKEA versions. But then, you can get a good sausage sizzle where they use a bun. I had one just yesterday.
K and I have moved houses of late, and, in our new abode, we have a woodfired pizza oven. In preparing to use it, we needed to pick up some tools so off we went to Claremont Bunnings. It was the middle stop in our suburban Saturday, picking up furniture and doing the weekly shop. It fell right at lunchtime, and given that this is a food blog with the title written up top, you will get no prize for guessing that we stopped off at the BBQ out the front.
This week the UWA Indonesian Students Society had the tongs and they knew how to do it right. Onions cooked slow and low with a hint of char at the end, almost a confit rather than a burnt mess that is only crispy. These went on first. Then came the standard mystery bag but it was fresh on the grill rather than sitting there until it dried out, followed, of course, by dead horse that I applied myself. I have been to other sausage sizzles where they put onions on top and you are forever losing bits and pieces from the sides and ends. I have been to others where you do not get to self-sauce and they are stingy without purpose. And then there are others with old bread that dominates all of it, the proportions all wrong. This week it was a bun, but somehow it was thin and fresh, and it all made sense. This was a democracy sausage on any given weekend. The sun was out in the middle of winter, people were embracing the break in the rain, and the flavour packed goodie was a perfect way to support the community and to take a break from the duties we had in front of us. Hats off to the cooks. That is living your best life before you crank up your own kitchen for a home meal with friends over that stretches into the inky night.